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Blu-ray Review: Game Of Thrones: The Complete Third Season
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Game of Thrones The Complete Third Season Blu-ray

Game of Thrones The Complete Third Season
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital | DVD l Limited Edition
CREATORS: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, George R.R. Martin (author)
STARRING: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Richard Madden, Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Natalie Dormer, Stephen Dillane, Conleth Hill, Aidan Gillen, Kit Harington, Maisie Williams, Iain Glen, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Jack Gleeson, Sophie Turner, Diana Rigg, Alfie Allen, David Bradley, Liam Cunningham, James Cosmo, Rory McCann, Gwendoline Christie, Carice van Houten, Joe Dempsie, Charles Dance, Kristian Nairn, John Bradley, Michael McElhatton, Sibel Kekilli, Finn Jones, Oona Chaplin, Rose Leslie, Iwan Rheon, Ian McElhinney, Ciarán Hinds, Paul Kaye, Hannah Murray, Kristofer Hivju, Ellie Kendrick, Thomas Sangster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Tobias Menzies, Natalia Tena, Richard Dormer, Mackenzie Crook, Clive Russell, Art Parkinson
HBO
RELEASE DATE: February 18, 2014

It’s cold and dark and depressing outside as many of us fight through the dead of winter, but excitement is starting to build in the land of television as Game of Thrones begins to take over once again. It started with the first trailers and behind-the-scenes special for season four. It continues with the release of season three on Blu-ray today. And officially hits its full stride on April 6th with the start of the new season, as the show looks to continue its dominance over others as the best on TV today. The warmth of the sun is not far off now. For us anyway; we know what’s coming for Westeros.

With one of the most shocking sequences of events in TV history setting the internet ablaze with reactions, memes aplenty, and much discussion, season three continued to set the bar extremely high and continued bringing new fans to the series with no signs of slowing down in sight.

Season three of Game of Thrones did things a little bit differently than previous seasons did. Season one and season two each covered an entire book in George R.R. Martin‘s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, but with far too much going on in book three of the series, titled “A Storm of Swords,” to cover in a single 10-episode season, it was decided to devote two seasons to the book. A very good decision for fans—there’s only five books total published so far (with two more on the way), and the more seasons we can get the better…so long as HBO gives us the whole story when it’s all said and done!

What season three does exactly the same as previous seasons, is be incredibly good. The show continues to offer stellar storytelling in every episode, with an always growing/changing cast continuing to deliver top-notch performances, and an ultra-talented team producing unparalleled costumes and sets and special effects. What the cast and crew of the show have accomplished and continues to accomplish is nothing short of remarkable, and they deserve every accolade sent their way.

Game of Thrones, quite fittingly, changed the game with season three, and if you’ve not given the show a chance, now is the time. Especially because of what went down this season. Everyone, whether you love the show or hate it (for some inexplicable reason), should see the first three seasons just so you can witness and understand the utterly stunning events that unfold.

Special Features

This show is so good that reviewing it has become a bit redundant only because it’s increasingly difficult to come up with ways to gush about it that haven’t already been used. And so, as I’ve said before, the main attraction of a review like this is to see if there’s any good bonus content to check out. And there most certainly is.

In addition to the In-Episode Guide, which offers information on characters, locations, and history that you can check out WHILE watching an episode, as well as the commentaries, you will also find the special features listed below.

DISC 1

A Gathering Storm — A 14-minute refresher on the events of season two so you’re ready to go before starting season three.

New Characters — An introduction of some of the new characters in season three, as well as the actors playing them.

DISC 4

“The Rains of Castamere” Unveiled — This has become my favorite special feature of the Game of Thrones Blu-ray releases, an in-depth look at the most pivotal episode of the season, usually episode nine. This season it was not only the most pivotal episode of the season—and the episode containing the events that made creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss want to make the show in the first place, as well as the episode they’ve been striving to get to since the beginning—but also one of the most pivotal of the series.

Last season’s big episode was “Blackwater Bay,” which involved a ton of brilliant special effects work, and so they included an excellent 30-minute behind-the-scenes making of featurette on the Blu-ray. This season’s big episode, “The Rains of Castamere,” doesn’t have nearly as many big effects, and so they did things differently for this Blu-ray. In this bonus feature, most of the episode plays with Weiss and Benioff and various other cast and crew talking what’s going on as it progresses and, of course, that crazy, unbelievable ending. They actually give you three ways to watch the ending the same way you’ve been watching this bonus feature with cast and crew discussing various things; with Benioff, Weiss, and Martin discussing it; or the way it aired on TV, so you can experience it again.

As the video plays a little sword shows up from time to time on the top right of your screen as well, which offers up extra little bonuses that relate to certain characters and locations and other such things in the scene you’re watching. Bonus features WITHIN the bonus feature. Special feature inceptions, if you will.

DISC 5

Roots of Westeros — An interactive guide to teach you all you need to know about the regions of Westeros. It offers history and information on the various kingdoms and lands, as well as the many houses and people that occupy them. Most of the information is in text form, but some of the regions come with the option to “Play History,” which begins a short animated comic-like video (very similarly to the Histories & Lore special features) with voice over from a related character such as Jon Snow (Kit Harington) for the North or Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) for the Westerlands.

Histories & Lore — Another one of my favorite special features on the Game of Thrones Blu-ray releases is back again for season three! It offers a wealth of information on George R.R. Martin’s marvelous world. If you’ve not yet checked these out I have and will continue to stress that you do so immediately. Each of the many options opens up a sort of animated comic (as mentioned above), with narration from one of the characters from the show who relate to whatever history lesson you’ve chosen to learn.

Histories & Lore will give you a new respect for just how much work has been put into crafting this world. Game of Thrones is not hollow. The things you read and see on the TV show are just the tip; there is a vast history behind everything, as if the world has existed in real life for thousands of years.

Inside the Wildlings — An introduction to the Wildlings and their history.

The Politics of Marriage — In older times and in Game of Thrones, marriage is rarely for love. Marriage is something used to increase political power and standing, the unification of two powerful families in order to create a much more powerful force. This bonus feature explores this with thoughts from those behind the show.

Deleted/Extended Scenes — A handful of deleted scenes from the season, including the one featuring Grand Maester Pycelle (Julian Glover) trying to convince Tywin Lannister to allow him back on the King’s small council.

Trailer

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